Learning From A Distance


Hey blog world! This year is my second year of the Early Childhood Education program at CONA and I’m trying something new with my courses. I’m taking the majority of them through distance education. It wasn’t my personal choice and I wouldn’t have opted for it had I had the choice, but I’m giving it a go and making the best of it.

I was supposed to do my second level courses in the classroom with my classmates, but I failed my first level field placement term last year and have to repeat it. Because there are scheduling conflicts between the first and second level field placement term, I was not able to do my second level courses in the classroom so I am doing them on my laptop.

I like the freedom and flexibility that comes with distance learning. I get to sleep in rather than having to get up at ungodly hours of the morning to get to school on time! Also, I can do school from wherever I feel like. Yesterday it was done in my room on my bed with my cat (Prince Ozzy is my study buddy), today Starbucks was my classroom! That being said, I do wish I could be in the classroom learning from a teacher.

I’m taking four courses through distance, Advanced Behavior Guidance, Workplace Writing, Child Development Level 3 and Community Resources. I’m finding Child Development III is the hardest of them all. So many different ages and stages and things to remember!!! But I’m trying my best.

I do school for 4 hours every day. Two hours of one subject, a break for lunch, then two hours of another subject. Once my four hours of schooling is done, I reward myself with something, usually an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. Having that to look forward to keeps me motivated to do my work.

Assignments thankfully aren’t piling up as fast as they were last year which is a relief! Even so, there are a few on my plate right now but I’m almost finished them! I’m happy that they are only journal entries, nothing too complex or difficult.

Learning through distance is going to be quite an interesting adventure for me. I doubt it will be easy, but I’m up for the challenge! Have you ever taken any courses through distance education? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments!

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Summer 2017


Hey blog world! It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over! Counting today there are just three days left! Holy firetruck! No question, this has been the best summer I’ve ever had! So many awesome things happened!

As I always do, I spent my summer working at Spirit of Newfoundland! Doing so is always the highlight of my summer! I love my job and the people I work with! Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I woke up happy and excited and I couldn’t wait for 12:30 (my shift start time) to come! Every work day was a new adventure! I met so many cool people (Petrina Bromely, Zach Werner, Nathan Stanley, Julia Dunne) and did lots of things. I polished the silverware, set the tables, folded napkins, transcribed scripts, I even got to go on a “field trip” to the Holy Heart to put 20th anniversary gala info cards inside the programs for “Mamma Mia!” Tomorrow is my last day and I’m sad about that. I’ll really miss everybody while I’m at school.

I also did a lot of babysitting. The two young boys I looked after were a handful at times, but I always had lots of fun with them! They are into a lot of the same things as I am which is awesome! When I’d come over to hang out with them we’d play board games, build LEGO sets and bake! Three of my favorite things to do!

Every Wednesday morning I went to the jam session at the SUF Hall in Topsail.  I’m really going to miss that when I return to school too. It was so nice to get to spend one morning a week singing and dancing! What I really like about the jam is that anything goes, so many different styles of music are performed! There’s country,  classic rock, Irish/Newfoundland, folk, even hula! We have some amazing musicians and singers at the jam and hearing them never ceases to amaze me! For example, my friend Jim Greenland is an uncanny soundalike for Marty Robbins! Close your eyes and you’d swear Marty was singing! It’s unbelievable!

I saw so many spectacular concerts and musicals this summer! Out of everything that I saw my favorites were Theatre St. Johns’s production of “Mamma Mia” (it was even better than Broadway!) and An Evening With Andrew Lloyd Webber, Spirit of Newfoundland’s “The Young And The Rest Of Us: 20 Years of Spirit In Revue” and Big Spirit Reunion Gala, and Erin Winsor’s “Quarter Life Crisis”.

I was lucky enough to get to attend all three nights of the Spirit of Newfoundland gala! I’m an artist in my spare time and I sell my paintings to raise money for the Masonic Temple Restoration Fund. I was allowed to set up a table during all three nights of Spirit’s gala to sell my paintings to people coming to see the show! I had lots of fun, got to talk to lots of people and made a lot of money for the Masonic. I know people affiliated with Spirit will be reading this post, so I will not reveal just how much I made this year. Tomorrow I’ll be presenting Spirit of Newfoundland with the check and I can’t wait!!

A few weeks ago, I reconnected with some old friends. I was sitting in the Avalon Mall food court eating my lunch just like I always do before work. I had just finished my flatbread sandwich when all of a sudden, I saw my friend Luke come into the mall, followed by my friends Matthew, Daniel, Emily, Katie, Eric and many, many more! There was literally an onslaught of Special Olympians swarming into the mall! I couldn’t believe it! My heart overflowed with happiness as each person came in through the door! I don’t get to see any of them anymore because I took a hiatus from Special Olympics to focus on school so getting to see them all in the mall that day made my day! I went around to each of them to give them a hug say hello and how much I missed them and catch up on what’s been going on in their lives since I’d seen them last. Thank you so much to the organizers of Vera Perlin summer camp for planning an outing to the movies that day!!!

I also got to spend time with friends from out of the province. When I was really young (I think about maybe 5 years old or so) I used to have play dates all the time with a boy named Nathaniel. He’s the son of one of my mom’s former co-workers. I say former because his family moved to Nova Scotia. Earlier this month they came back home for a wedding! I was so excited when mom told me that they were coming! I couldn’t wait to see them again! When mom and I got to their house, I recognized Nathaniel’s parents Tracy and Al (they haven’t changed much since I saw them last) but Nathaniel and his sister Hannah looked so different! I couldn’t believe my eyes when Nathaniel came down the stairs! He’s so much taller and tanned and his voice has gotten deeper! Hannah was only a little baby when I saw her last. She has grown into a beautiful young woman. I had a lot of fun with them that day! Hannah, Tracy, mom and I had a girls day. We went to Signal Hill, my Great Uncle Herbie’s shop in Petty Harbour, the Petty Harbour Museum, Chafe’s Landing for lunch and then the Village Mall! Then we came back to my house for a BBQ.

During the first week of August, my mom, dad, niece and I took our brand new trailer up to Butterpot Park for a week. The weather wasn’t that great, but we made the best of it! We played lots of board and card games in the trailer! On days when it was nice out we went walking around the campsites and played badminton! I loved getting to spend a whole week together with my family. We all have such busy schedules it’s hard to find family time these days.

I got to try some new restaurants! I ate out every Tuesday and Thursday before work. A few times this summer I took that opportunity to try something new. I’ve eaten a few times at the new Much Burrito in the Avalon Mall and I tried Pannizza on Kenmount Road last week. They both have delicious food! I highly recommend eating at both places!

I tried out for “Rent”! I am a die hard Renthead (A Renthead is a superfan of the musical “Rent”!) I have “Rent” posters in my bedroom, I memorized the entire show  and have watched the movie and final Broadway performance DVD so many times that I lost count! When I saw on Facebook that “Rent” was going to be TaDa Events’ next production I was so excited that I almost hit the ceiling! I knew this was something I had to try out for! I began rehearsing literally two seconds after seeing the Facebook post! I sang “Out Tonight” every day, multiple times a day! When the big day came, I was excited but also very nervous. We were called in 6 at a time and as I listened to all the others in the room with me I was blown away by how talented they all were! When it was my turn, I was nervous, but I tried not to let it show too much. Once I got going, I had fun! I had a little slip up with the words but I managed to recover quickly and keep going. At the end of it, I felt I did a pretty good job. I hoped I’d be able to get a part in the show. I got an email back a week later saying I didn’t. I was a little disappointed, but I’m not at all ready to give up! I’m going to keep practicing my singing and acting and going to more and more auditions! “Rent” is going to be performed at the Arts and Culture Center March 15th-17th 2018. I’ll be in the audience for sure! Hope to see you there!

Even though summer is over and I’m sad to see it go, there are lots of things I’m looking forward to in the fall. I’ll be starting my second year in the Early Childhood Education program at CONA! I’m excited to see all my friends again, learn lots of new things and do another field placement term (my favorite part of the course!) Also, in a few weeks shallow water fitness will be starting up again at the CBS recreation complex! Mom and I go together twice a week. I love it! It’s lots of fun and great exercise. I’m most looking forward to getting back to my voice/piano lessons with Peter Halley! I can’t wait to learn new songs and how to transpose music! I also can’t wait to give Frenchy (Peter’s golden doodle) lots of cuddles!! I hope you all had a fantastic summer too and that the coming months bring lots of good things your way! What was the highlight of your summer? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

ACC And Me


Hey blog world! I realized that lately on my blog, I’ve brought up Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum a few times, but I haven’t really gone into much detail about it. I thought today I’d talk about that and how it affects me.

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum basically means that I haven’t got a Corpus Callosum. I was born without it! The Corpus Callosum is a wide band of fibres that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain and facilitates communication between the two. It is the largest collection of white matter within the brain and has a very high myelin count. Myelin is a fatty coating around the nerves that helps information travel faster.

What I find really interesting is, after genetic testing it’s been discovered that neither mom nor dad carried any kind of gene relating to this (or my Aspergers (for those of you who don’t already know, I’m on the Autism Spectrum.)) so I’m, as Dad says “One of the X-Men”! I carry a “mutant” gene that no one else in my family has and it’s given me super powers (a heightened sense of hearing (blessing and a curse!) and an incredible memory are just a few examples of some of the awesome traits of my Aspergers! ) I think that’s cool!

One way that having no Corpus Callosum has affected me is I have low muscle tone and some trouble with balance. When I was younger, I went to physical therapy once a week at the Janeway to help with increasing my strength and muscle tone. Now that I’m older, I’m pretty sure all the heavy lifting at work does the trick!

The biggest way that it affects me is my fine motor skills are not the best! Thanks to occupational therapy I have improved in a lot of areas (using a knife, tying my shoes) but one thing that hasn’t improved (and I’m not sure ever will!) is my handwriting. As all my friends who have ever received a homemade card from me know, it resembles that of a toddler!! I try my best to make my writing legible but it’s very difficult. Making homemade cards is the only time that I ever write! At school, for note taking and test writing I use a computer!

If you have any questions about Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, I’m more than happy to answer them! I’m very open about it and love educating people and spreading awareness!

Leah

Pannizza


Hey blog world! Another workday, another takeout lunch! This week I’ve been craving pizza like you wouldn’t believe! I decided to satisfy that craving this afternoon and try out a new pizza place called Pannizza that opened up recently on Kenmount Road. I’d heard a lot about it and was eager to give it a try!

I got inside and liked the look of the place. The pictures of food on the walls made me hungry! The red and black color scheme of the restaurant was nice. The coolest thing about the decor was the word wall. All along the entire back wall of the restaurant words were written on the wall, pepperoni, mozzarella, all the different pizza ingredients and other things. img_0467

I love how friendly the staff are! When I walked up to the counter, the employee working there (whose name I unfortunately forgot to ask, but he knows who he is!) welcomed me to the restaurant with a big smile on his face and made small talk about the weather. Throughout the entire process of crafting my pizza he was very pleasant. I asked him a question (how much would it cost for me to swap the fountain drink in my combo for a bottle of juice?) and he didn’t know the answer off the top of his head and for that he apologized and said he was new, then he went to get the manager. It was very courteous of him to apologize for not knowing, but I thought nothing of it! Like he said, he’s new! Not everyone has everything perfect right away when they are starting at a new job. If this post makes its way to him, I have this to say. You did an excellent job today! Keep up the great work!

When I got to the counter I was pleased to see that Pannizza operated like Subway! All the ingredients were laid out in front of me and I could pick and choose what I wanted! Restaurants like that are my favorite! They have fresh ingredients, they offer so much variety and something for everybody and it’s really neat to watch your food made in front of you! I also liked that Pannizza offered their own recipes off the menu as well for people who don’t feel like customizing a pizza. They also offer salads, sandwiches and poutines which you can customize or select one of their recipes from the menu! Again, I love how much variety they have here!

One of the things I was most pleased to see on the menu was gluten free crust!!!! Having been gluten intolerant myself (I grew out of it around age 15) and having a niece who is, I know how hard gluten-free items are to come by in restaurants so well done Pannizza!!

While there is a lot of variety in the menu options and loads of different ingredients to put on your pizza, salad, poutine, etc. there is one thing I was sad to see was missing. My favorite pizza topping is black olives. I was disappointed that they weren’t an option to put on my pizza. I’m hoping that they will soon change that and add black olives.

When my pizza was finished cooking (which by the way took only 2 minutes. Wow!) I was offered a combo, a bag of chips and a fountain drink to go with my pizza. I decided to go for it, but, as I said above, I asked to swap the fountain drink for a bottle of juice (I gave up soft drinks a few years ago). Most restaurants charge $1 or a little more to swap soda for juice, but Pannizza only charges 50 cents! That’s absolutely fantastic! My overall total today came to $12.88 which I think is a very reasonable price.

For my chips, I picked a bag of harvest cheddar Sun Chips. On their chip shelf they had a few bags of those and bags of baked original Lays. I thought it was great that they had these slightly healthy chips.

This is what my custom pizza looked like! It was a 7″ pizza with white crust, pulled pork, steak, tomato, mushroom, onion, green pepper, roasted red pepper, cheese and tomato sauce.

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It was delicious! The crust was crispy, just the way I like it. The sauce was zesty and the cheese was melted to perfection! The steak and the pulled pork were cooked perfectly too. A little chewy, but not too much. They had a smoky taste. I liked that. I loved the red pepper! Roasting it really accentuated  the flavor! Yum! The rest of the veggies were very good as well. Using fresh vegetables really makes a big impact on the taste.

A few minutes into my meal, the employee who made my pizza came over and asked how everything was! Huge customer service points for this!!! You never see that in fast food places! I was so pleased to see that happen here!

Also as I ate my meal I jammed out to the awesome music they had playing over the radio! I don’t know who picked it out for the day but whoever did has excellent taste in music! “Try” by P!nk, “One Week” by the Barenaked Ladies, “My Church” by Maren Morris and so many other great songs were played while I ate!

I had a fabulous experience at Pannizza today. Reasonable prices, fresh ingredients, friendly staff, everything about today’s visit was excellent! I will most certainly be back and I recommend that you eat here as well! Pannizza on Kenmount Road gets 9/10 stars!

Leah

The Big Spirit Reunion Gala


Hey blog world! For those of you who don’t know, this year marks the 20th anniversary of one of my favorite things in the world, Spirit of Newfoundland!! To celebrate this milestone, they put off a gala concert at Holy Heart! The show opened on Thursday and closed last night. I was lucky enough to be there all three nights!

In my spare time I love to paint and I sell my paintings to raise money for the Masonic Temple Restoration Fund! Spirit of Newfoundland means so much to me and I want to do all that I can to save their home, the Masonic Temple! Huge thank you to Peter, Kathie and Paul who allowed me to set up a table during the three nights of the gala so I could try to sell my artwork to people who came to see the show.

Spirit Art Holy Heart

I absolutely loved sitting at my booth all three nights. I really enjoy interacting with people as they come to look at my artwork. There was one young girl in particular that I’m really happy I met and got to talk to. On Thursday night, a young girl named Alicia (I hope I got the spelling right!) who sings with the Shallaway choir came over to my table and admired all my paintings. She took one of my bio cards and then went on her way again. Later, she returned for another look and we had a chat! We talked about splatter painting and how her and her friend once came up with the idea of filling water balloons with paint and throwing them at a giant canvas and how my snowman painting reminded her of a time she made a snowman and used tons of carrots to make his different body parts. Friday night, she returned, money in hand, wanting to buy a painting. She had so many that she liked that she couldn’t decide! She had to do eenie, meenie, miny, moe to choose!! A few minutes after she bought her painting, she came back again with the painting in one hand and a pen in the other and asked for my autograph! That made my night! I felt really special! She came back for another visit and chat last night. Seeing her coming made me smile! She’s a really cool person with lots of interesting stories! I really hope our paths will cross again sometime. If you come across this Alicia, I’m very, very happy that I met you and that we became friends!

On Friday night, I got to see the show with my friend Laura! We both thought it was absolutely spectacular!!

The show started with video greetings from many different people, then Sheila Williams pretended to be an Air Canada flight attendant doing some pre-flight announcements. I thought that was a very funny way to introduce the show and go over a few basic rules for the evening (put your phones on airplane mode, pictures and video are allowed but wait till after the show to post them on social media, don’t kick the seat in front of you, etc.)

We got to see a scene from Spirit’s very first show “Hard Tickets In High Society” performed by the original cast of the show, Peter Halley, Sheila Williams, Michelle Doyle, Steve Gosse and Shelley Neville! The scene was very funny and their performance of “Away From The Roll Of The Sea” was mesmerizing!

Next, it was Christmastime for the hard tickets and high societies! Lady Maxine (Sheila) had just found out that her husband Johnny (Peter) lost their tavern in a poker game. To win it back from Sandra Sandoval (I can’t remember the name of the character she played) they decided to have a sing-off! Her and Georgina Stirling, both absolute divas battled it out until Georgina could no longer sing. It’s a shame she wasn’t able to continue. While I do really, really like Sandra Sandoval’s jazzy vocals, Shelley won me over with her stunning operatic performance. Because she couldn’t go on, they had to find someone else. Michelle Doyle’s character (whose name I have also forgotten) took her place. She too has an amazing, jazzy voice! In the end, yes she won the tavern back for her aunt Maxine! Yay!

Mallory Johnson, who is making quite a name for herself in the country music world (her song “Tupelo” ranked in the top 10 on the iTunes country charts for a while! You know you’ve made it big when!) sang one of her original songs, “Pedestal”. I had goosebumps! She is a very talented songwriter with a stunning voice! Congratulations on all that you’ve achieved so far Mallory and I wish you more and more success in the future.

One of my most favorite shows I’ve seen at Spirit of Newfoundland was “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”. It’s a touching, funny, slightly scary look at the life cycle of a relationship from first dates to childbirth and so on. My favorite scene and song from the show is “Funerals Are For Dating/ I Can Live With That”. Seeing it in the show on Friday night made me so happy! So much so that I cried a little. Roberta Simmons-Smith played Margaret. This was my first time seeing her perform. I thought she was a fabulous singer with a really lovely voice! This was one of my favorite parts of act 1!

After that, Shelley Neville and Calvin Powell performed together. They sang “The Prayer”.¬† Both of them have such magnificent voices on their own, but when they sang together that night it sounded angelic! This was such a breathtaking, beautiful performance.

Another one of my favorite parts of act 1 was when the Ennis Sisters performed. They sang “If Anything Happened To You” which is one of my most favorite songs! It means a lot to me. When I was born, the doctors found what they thought was fluid on my brain. They didn’t know if I was going to live or die and they prepared my parents for the worst. After further testing they had good news and bad news. Good news: no fluid on my brain, bad news: a piece is missing! I have no Corpus Callosum, the wide band of fibres that connects the left and right sides of the brain and transmits information between the two. I was the first case of Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum that those doctors had seen and so because they knew little about it, they still weren’t sure if I was going to live or die and they told my parents that. Dad heard “If Anything Happened To You” on the radio and he broke down and cried. He said that song was exactly how he felt about me not knowing what my fate would be. He sang it to me every night when I was little. It was amazing getting to hear Karen, Maureen and Patricia perform it live! I came so close to crying! After that song, they brought Shallaway out onto the stage with them. Together they sang “We Rise Again”. My jaw hit the floor! For such young children (they looked about maybe 12 years old) they had unbelievable, angelic voices!

Cheri Carrol is gorgeous inside and out. She’s a very sweet, kind person. I’ve gotten to know her over these past few years through her son Ian (whose personality matches hers exactly, excellent parenting Cheri and Sean!) who is a Shallaway chorister and a voice student of Peter Halley and has performed in many concerts and events throughout the province. Every time I’ve seen a show with him in it Cheri has been there supporting him. During the second act of the show on Friday was the first time that I’d ever heard Cheri sing. She performed “Growing Up Catholic” from “Nunsense”. I was amazed! She has a beautiful voice! I hope I’ll get to hear her again soon!

Sister Robert Anne was not the only one of the Little Sisters Of Hoboken to grace the stage that evening. Reverend Mother and Sister Mary Hubert (Sheila Williams and Shelley Neville) were there as well to perform “Just A Couple A Sisters”! I love it when they do this song! It’s hilarious and always makes me laugh til it hurts!

Keith Power and Dana Parsons had me roaring with laughter when they performed “St. John’s Girl”! Again, I was laughing till my stomach hurt! This was my favorite part of act two! Dana the skeet stole the show! I lalalalaloves ‘er!

Darrin Martin talked about his struggles with mental illness, which by the way I’m very proud of him for doing. It takes a lot of courage to do something like that. He also told us that the stigma of mental illness is finally starting to lift! It’s about time! It made me so happy to hear that! As a tribute to George Earles, a deceased member of the Spirit family who also had struggle with mental illness, Darrin and the entire cast of the show sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Darrin has such a powerful voice and I’m always in awe whenever I hear him sing. Paired with the over 50 other voices singing this song of hope it was the most spectacular thing I’d ever heard!

The last few numbers of the show were awesome! Jeff Sims, Erin Winsor, Keith Power, and Kara Noftle performed “Ordinary Day” by Great Big Sea and Lukey’s Boat, a traditional Newfoundland song. Then, they were joined on stage by the cast of “ABBA: Gotta Get The Scoop” to perform “Mamma Mia”, and lastly everyone in the show came out to sing “Sweet Caroline” as confetti flew through the air! My heart overflowed with happiness during all three of these songs as I danced and sang along with everyone! What a way to end off the show!!

To everyone at Spirit of Newfoundland, thank you. Thank you for the music, memories and magic you have created for so many people all over the world! Thank you also for your friendship. It means a lot to me that Spirit I fit in and am accepted and have many close friends in the cast, crew and staff. As I often say, everyone at Spirit has a heart that’s three sizes too big! Here’s to many, many more years Spirit of Newfoundland! Long may your big jib draw!

Leah

Mucho Burrito


Hola blog world! Today was a work day so as I always do, I stopped into the Avalon Mall for lunch. They recently opened a new restaurant in the food court! Mucho Burrito, Fresh Mexican Grill. All summer I’d seen their space between the KFC and A&W blocked off, with a message on the door saying “Not opening soon enough”, darn right! I love Mexican food and seeing their opening soon sign was almost like a form of torture! I couldn’t wait to finally eat there! Today was the big day!

I got to the counter and was really pleased to see that it operated like Subway. All the ingredients were laid out in bins in front of you and you could choose what you wanted and see your food get made right in front of your eyes!

I looked at the menu and saw that there were loads of options! Quesadillas, bowls, tacos, salads, burritos, so much to choose from! It was hard for me to decide, but eventually, having not had one in ages, I decided to have a burrito today. Saying that lead to me having more options and things to choose from. I really like that this restaurant has at least a million possibilities and so many different things to choose from, something for everybody! My burrito had a white tortilla, barbacoa, pico de gallo, cilantro, rice, sour cream, peppers, cheese and black beans.

I was then offered a combo. I could get a drink and one of two other things, a bag of nachos and a dip of my choice, or two cookies. The chocolate chip cookies looked really yummy, but I love nachos and it’s rare when I get to have them so that’s what I went with! I went with mild salsa as my dip. I had ginger ale from the soda fountain for my drink. I was surprised and pleased to see ginger ale available from a soda fountain, I think this was the first time I’ve seen that!

I ordered a small burrito, but yet it was absolutely huge! If that’s the small, then I can’t imagine what their extra large burrito must look like!! This is what it looks like from the outside


and from the inside


I also couldn’t get over the size of the nacho bag!


It’s pretty big and they filled it up almost completely! I’m only one person and cannot manage to take down that big a burrito and that many nachos in one sitting! I knew for certain there would be leftovers!
When I took a bite of the burrito, it was great! The tortilla was nice and warm. There was loads of barbacoa beef and it was cooked perfectly and had a nice smoky taste to it. With each bite I’d get that smoky taste, combined with just a hint of spice that was noticeable but not overpowering. I loved how fresh the pico de gallo was! the tomatoes were ripe and juicy and I could taste a hint of lime in there as well which I thought was a nice little accent. The rice and beans both tasted very good as well.

Then, I ate a nacho and some salsa. Holy firetruck, I must learn their recipe! It was the best salsa I’ve ever tasted! Chunky, fresh tasting, a nice hit of sweetness from the tomatoes, not overly spicy, absolutely perfect! The nachos were really yummy as well! Perfectly crunchy and not too salty. I’m looking forward to melting some cheese over my leftovers later tonight and having that for a bedtime snack!


I’m so pleased that this restaurant uses fresh ingredients and makes all their salsa’s and other dips/condiments in house. It makes a huge difference in terms of taste and flavor and it makes the food healthier for you as well which is absolutely wonderful!

I do have a few criticisms about the meal though. They were a bit skimpy on the peppers. I only got three. I would have liked to have seen a few more. Also, the sour cream was a bit too sour. I got a bit of that with every bite as well and it wasn’t a very pleasant taste. Other than those two things, I enjoyed my meal.

I was very pleased with my experience at Mucho Burrito today! It’s a little pricy ($14.75 was my total today), but there is friendly service and fresh, healthy, good tasting food. I will be back again and recommend that you eat here too! Mucho Burrito gets 5/10 stars

Leah

Mamma Mia


Hey blog world! In 2009, when I was 12 years old, my mom took me on a trip to New York City because I’m obsessed with musical theater and had always wanted to see a show on Broadway. One of the shows we took in on our trip was “Mamma Mia”. It was absolutely incredible! Last Saturday night, I had the chance to see a local production staged by Theatre St. John’s and Broadway didn’t hold a candle to it! This was even better!

My date to the show was my boyfriend Glen! Last Saturday evening was very special because a: we haven’t had a date night in forever because of both of our busy schedules, and b: the tickets to the show were my present to Glen for his 29th Birthday back in May. Neither of us could wait for the big day to come and when it finally did, both of us were super giddy and excited to get to the theater and see the show!

When we arrived at the theater, we got quite the surprise! Erin Winsor was there selling cookies! Erin is such a lovely person, if she doesn’t make you smile your heart is made of stone! It was wonderful to see her and have a chat. The cookies she was selling were baked by Craig Pike, brother of Keith Pike, the artistic director of Theatre St. John’s. Craig also played the role of Bill. I wish I had thought to bring my wallet because the cookies looked amazing! There were peanut butter cookies that had Reese’s Cups smushed into the middle! I’m drooling just typing about them! I hope someday I’ll get to taste one!

Soon it was time to enter the auditorium. When the lights went down, Keith Pike came onstage. He talked a little bit about Theatre St. John’s and he gave us a dance lesson! He got the entire audience up on their feet and taught us a disco routine for the ABBA Megamix Finale! It was so much fun!!

Finally, the moment we had been waiting for arrived! The show started!!! Julia Dunne was in the role of Sophie. She is a beautiful young girl inside and out! She has such a pretty voice. She opened the show with “I Have A Dream” and it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever heard! I asked Glen what he thought of her performance, “Rockin’!” was his answer. I couldn’t agree more. All throughout the show she totally rocked!

Tina Maddigan Mayer played Donna. Fun fact, she originated the role of Sophie on Broadway!! When she came out on stage and sang her first song “Money, Money, Money”, it came as no surprise to me that she was once a Broadway star! What an unbelieveable voice she’s got!

In the next scene, Harry (Peter Halley) discovered the old guitar that he had bought for Donna was still in the tavern, then he picked it up and played “Thank You For The Music”! Peter never ceases to amaze me! He is a man of many, many talents! He’s good at sports (He’s a great bowler and he’s incredible at swim races! Blink and you’ll miss him! He turns into the Flash!), he’s tutored me in several subjects (no matter what subject I throw at him, be it World History, Inclusion or Positive Behavior Guidance he’s always willing to help me with homework or studying) and of course he’s very artistically talented! He’s a phenomenal singer and pianist, a fantastic writer (all his shows at Spirit of Newfoundland are spectacular! Also, we spent the past two years writing a show together! Not to toot our own horns but it’s excellent!), and apparently also a really great guitar player! There’s nothing he can’t do! Getting back to the show, I was already absolutely loving “Thank You For The Music” because it’s one of my favorite ABBA songs and Peter was doing a lovely job of singing and playing it, but then Sophie joined in! It sounded even better! Their two voices blending together sounded angelic! This performance made my heart feel warm and fuzzy inside! I almost cried happy tears!

It’s a shame in my opinion that Donna and the Dynamo’s were back together for one night and one night only! Shelley, Michelle and Tina, please consider reprising your roles and doing a full concert! I would pay to come see it! The scenes and songs with you three in them together were my favorites in the show! You were hilarious and so full of energy, sass and fun, and all three of you have stunning voices! Glen’s favorite song in the show was one that involved you three, “Dancing Queen”! That is Glen’s favorite song of all time and he lit up when you sang it! You made his night!

The ensemble of this show was spectacular! They all had great singing voices! And the dancing, oh my firetrucking God! I couldn’t believe the choreography! Flips, high kicks, disco, all of it blew my mind! This was the best choreography I’ve ever seen in any show ever!

While still on the subject of choreography, “Lay All Your Love On Me”, now that was something else! Kudos to all the men in the ensemble, how they were able to dance in wet suits and flippers is beyond me! That tight rubber doesn’t seem like it allows much range of movement. It must have been difficult to dance in! Even so, they pulled off some really impressive moves, made it look easy, and made me crack up laughing throughout the whole number! Dancing men in wet suits and flippers strikes me as very funny!

Another thing I really liked about that number was getting to hear Sky (Adam Charles) sing! He was phenomenal! A better Sky couldn’t be found in my opinion! I hope this won’t be the last time I see him! Glen hopes the same! Adam was Glen’s favorite performer! He said about Adam “I likes that nice, good boyfriend. He’s a good singer! I want to be like him!”

When it came time for the intermission, sweet Glen burst into tears! He cried on my shoulder for quite some time because of how happy he was to be there and how much he loved the show! That made my heart overflow and I almost started crying too!

My favorite song from act II was “The Winner Takes It All”. That is my all time favorite ABBA song and Tina really showed off her powerhouse vocals in this number! It was breathtaking!

The dad’s had some great musical moments in Act II as well! One of which was “Take A Chance On Me”. Rosie (Shelley Neville) was trying to seduce Bill and he was not ok with it… at first anyway! This was my favorite scene in the show involving Bill. I love his voice and thought he was very funny in this song, trying to get away from Rosie! Sam’s performance of “Knowing Me, Knowing You” was spectacular! He too has a very powerful voice!”Our Last Summer”, where Harry and Donna reminisced about their time together was beautiful! Peter and Tina sound lovely together!

The show ended with a wedding, but this would turn out to be no ordinary day for Sophie and her wedding party! (*Spoiler alert!) It’s revealed that her dad is present! Donna is about to reveal (I think for sure it’s Sam) but Sophie doesn’t want to know! She loves all three and it doesn’t matter to her which is really her biological parent. Harry, Bill and Sam are happy to finally be part of her life and 1/3rd of a father to her. I thought that was very sweet! Also, Sophie decides she is not ready to get married after all! Not wanting to waste a wedding day, Sam proposes to Donna and she accepts! The show had a lot of feel-good moments, but this one by far was the most lovely! My heart overflowed and again I almost cried with happiness!

For those of you wondering who ordained the wedding and married Sam and Donna? None other than Father Alan Doyle!!!! Yes, the front man of Great Big Sea made a special cameo in the show! I thought that was the most awesome thing!

To cap off the show was of course the ABBA Megamix that Keith had prepared us for at the start of the evening! It was mesmerizing! Glen and I had a blast dancing and singing along!! Also, the brightly colored outfits that the dad’s and the dynamo’s were wearing looked awesome! Glen’s favorite was the red jumpsuit Geoffrey Tyler (Sam) wore because red is his favorite color. My favorite was the purple jumpsuit Peter Halley wore! Purple is my favorite color! In terms of the girls, Glen loved Shelley’s pink jumpsuit. I loved Tina’s light blue one! It was fabulous and she looked gorgeous in it!

Once the show had ended, we mingled with the cast! We actually got to go up onstage and see them! That was so cool! Glen and I loved getting to talk to and take pictures with everyone! Here are some of the ones we took on stage!

ABBA Peter

Glen and I with Peter Halley who played Harry

ABBA Tina

Donna and her backup Dynamo’s!

Alan Doyle

Me and Alan Doyle!

When we headed out to the lobby we ran into more cast members from the show. Glen was elated when he saw Adam. He turned to me with a look of sheer joy and excitement on his face and said “There’s Sky! I’m gonna get to meet him!” Adam was just as elated to meet Glen and hear that he was his favorite! The three of us talked about this show and musical theater in general. Adam is a really nice, down to earth guy. I’m glad we got to meet him.

Adam

Glen and I both will never forget that night! To everyone in the cast, band and crew, thank you for the music! I can’t wait to see what Theater St. John’s has in store next! Until next time blog world, always remember

If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail

Leah